30 August 2011


So the big boy Buzz brought home a note from school saying that they will be starting a unit on musical instruments next week, and it would be good if we could start collecting objects that can be used to make an instrument.  I assumed that many little kids will come along with a box and some rubber bands to make a guitar, and I started wondering what we could do that would be a little bit different.

Mister Google gave me many ordinary ideas, and two good ones.  One was to make a tambourine from a round lid and some jingle bells.  Buzz thought this idea was terrible.

The other idea was to make a glockenspiel from different lengths of metal pipe (electrical conduit was mentioned) and both Buzz and I thought that was a great idea.  I knew it would take some time and effort and probably cost a bit more, but how cool would it be to be the only kid making a glockenspiel from electrical conduit?  We would be awesome.

Today after the school and kindy dropoff I took Woody to the hardware store to buy the conduit, and hopefully get a nice man to cut it to size for me. My approach was to ask if someone could cut it to size or sell me "a hacksaw that could do the job," and the two gentlemen headed off to do the selection and cutting of the pipe.  This was no mean feat, because the instructions detailing how to get the notes of the major scale require that the pipe is cut to lengths involving eights of an inch, but they did it for me, correctly assuming that if I tried with a hacksaw, I'd lose not only the major scale tuning, but also some digits as well.

I was delighted.  I certainly cost more than a cardboard box and rubber bands, but it cost less than I'd imagined so I gleefully paid my money and came home.

It was then that I realised that the material the men had selected didn't so much go "ching-ching-ching."  It went went "thook-thook-thook."  Wrong stuff.  Glockenspiel fail.

Ching-ching-ching is really the minimum standard in a glockenspiel, I think.

So. I need you to tell me what to do next.


Emily Sue said...

This is in Japanese, so no instructions, but watch to the end and check out the horns made from bottles, noodle cups and straws.


Givinya De Elba said...

Oooh thanks.

Heather said...

I say that "thook-thook-thook" is much closer to the word "glock" than "ching-ching-ching" so why not? Is it actually playing notes, so that you can identify each tone on the scale? If it is making music (albeit less chime-y music than you'd envisioned), I say go for it! If all the "thooks" are identical, however, then you have either a very fancy rhythm-only instrument or the impetus to start again.

I think we need some video of the thookenspiel in order to best render judgment. :-)

Givinya De Elba said...

I think that if we set the chimes up on a decent sort of mat, we'd hear thooks in the notes of the scale, so maybe all is not lost. Good idea Heather. Will think about the video idea. Will start by saying, "This song goes out to Heathaaahhh" in that aussie accent :-)

John Ross said...

Thookinspiel is a much more interesting, and less confusing name anyway. Did the same person invent the origian "spiel" and all those Glock guns, I wonder?

Hippomanic Jen said...

You forgot the option of "Throw my hands in the air, go to my room and body rock with my fingers in my ears until next Tuesday". That's the option I would have voted for.

Crazy Sister said...

You can't NOT use that, it's fantastic.

And I bet the teacher will LOVE the more muted tones of this instrument.

Do you need glockenspiel dongers? Cause I've got yours.